Actor and athlete Lee Reherman, who played Hawk on the competition series “American Gladiators,” passed away on Monday in Manhattan Beach, Calif at the age of 49.
According to Variety, his rep and longtime friend Anthony Turk said that Reherman’s death was completely unexpected, calling him the “epitome of health.” While the cause of death is yet to be revealed, Turk said Reherman underwent hip surgery about two months ago, and had unwell for the past few days.
The 6-foot-4-inches actor, had originally planned to go into professional football, playing as an offensive lineman at Cornell University. He did not make the Miami Dolphins team after partaking in training camp, and thereafter moved to California to pursue a career in acting.
He got a small role on the TV show “Columbo” and appeared in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Last Action Hero,” but really broke out in 1993, when he joined competition reality show “American Gladiators” as Hawk. The show pitted normal citizens against athletes to see who would come out on top.
“American Gladiators” was in its fifth season was Reherman joined. He would go on to appear in the show until its cancellation in 1996. Reherman also had a career as a TV personality, becoming the host of the Speed Network’s “Hot Rod TV” and “Forza Motorsport Showdown” in 2007.
Reherman most recently appeared in an episode of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” as well as Fox’s “Cooper Barret’s Guide to Life.” His other TV credits include small roles in “The X-Files,” “Gilmore Girls,” “That’s So Raven” and “The Shield.”